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Nandina Domestica

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Nandina is widely grown in gardens as an ornamental plant and makes an excellent choice for entryways, patios, and foundation plantings or as specimen plantings in a ground cover display. Multiple plantings may be used as a screen or hedge. It is also suitable for growing as a container plant, indoors. It is one of the plants that provide all-year interest. In the spring, the new foliage emerges as bright bronzed red. It is soon followed by large panicles of creamy white flowers held well above the foliage. As the season changes, the foliage becomes blue green, fading to light green. Clusters of bright green berries are forming after the flowers are fading. By late summer, the berries will ripen and become bright red. In the fall, the foliage color changes again into shades of pink and red, ending the year with bright red leaves and berries. The berries will remain on the branches and often persisting through the winter.

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Nandina will grow and flower well in a place with partial shade but will provide much richer-colored red fall foliage if it is planted in a place with full sun but protected from late afternoon sun and from harsh winds. For best growing conditions it prefers a reasonably rich soil and average moisture but it will tolerate dry spells once established. A regular fertilization encourages growth and thicker plants. If grown in containers it requires protection during the summer, as it is sensitive to high soil temperatures. Plant or transplant Nandina during the cooler months of the fall.

Propagate Nandina by taking semi-ripe cuttings during the warm weather, by division or letting it slowly spread itself by underground stems. Propagation is also possible by sowing seeds in containers in a cold frame as soon as they ripe, but germination may take several years.

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Hibiscus Syriacus

Hibiscus syriacus, the common garden Hibiscus, also called Rose of Sharon or Rose of Althea is a woody perennial, deciduous, flowering shrub that can reach 2-4 m in height. It is widely planted in areas with hot summers for its very attractive white, pink, red, lavender, or purple flowers. The flowers are large, solitary, showy, single or double and appear from mid summer to early autumn on current season's growth. Since plants bloom on new growth, shaping or pruning can be done at any time; prune in late winter or early spring in northern climates. The flowers only open in sunny weather. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects attracted by flat blossoms and nectar.

Native to India and East Asia, the national flower of Korea, it is the perfect shrub for groupings and mass plantings, to create a screen, or planted as a formal or informal hedge or in a shrub border. Standard forms may be used as small trees planted to the entranceways. It has a medium growth rate, with a narrow vase-shaped to arching growth habit, often becoming arching with age if never pruned.

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